Wednesday, July 28, 2010

White Sands, Part 1

A couple weekends ago, I went off to White Sands National Monument. From Albuquerque, it takes about three to fours hours to get there. (Albuquerque's in central New Mexico, White Sands is at the southern end.)

I knew how long the drive would be, and I knew how hot it was going to be (105 degrees!), but I decided to do it anyway. And I decided to go alone. I needed to gather my thoughts, catch my breath, and collect a few photos. White Sands is, as the name plainly describes, an enormous amount of white sand, shaped by the wind into dunes.

One of the most fascinating things about White Sands is how the top layer of sand blows in the wind. I tried to capture it pictures (I'm still going through the hundreds that I took), but I didn't feel like the photos would do justice to the odd magic of this sand.

I have never owned a video camera in my life, but I do have a video camera in my phone. So I whipped it out and took this short video:

Not the best quality, of course- it's a video from a phone!- but I think it illustrates the point pretty well. I went hiking on the dunes after ignoring a few signs that said "WARNING: DO NOT HIKE ALONE." After the first half mile or so, there was nobody around. It was silent, except for the sound of the sand blowing in the wind.

The sand causes snowblindness (sandblindness?), but I didn't want to put on sunglasses. The sand is so white. It feels so clean, somehow. I was exhausted after hiking a few miles, but the trip was worth it.

More photos as soon as I can get through all of them and make some selects...


jeanny July 29, 2010 at 3:17 PM  

Totally dangerous, but beautiful. Worth it!